Blackberry and Goats Cheese Tartlets

Pudding then cheese? Cheese then pudding? Quelle dilemma!

Do you stick with British tradition, and follow dessert with a nubbin of stilton and a mouthful of port? Or do you follow our French neighbours who, despite just being 21 miles across The Channel, dine in a different order? … 

Read More »

Using up leftovers: Frittata

I wonder who came up with the idea of bubble and squeak: Tear off any meat that’s still on the bone from leftover Sunday roasts. Chop and shallow-fry any leftover sprouts or cabbage, (trying not to blacken too much.) Finally, mash everything up with a lump of potato. Not really the kind of thing that triggers involuntary salivation…. 

Read More »

Using leftover egg yolks: Traditional Carbonara

Making macaroons (or meringues or pavlova) means one thing: lots of left over egg yolks.

It is possible to freeze them. There’s a problem with that though – it means that at some point you have to defreeze them. When I’m rooting about in my freezer I often get inspired by some nice fruit or cut of meat that I forgot was there. I can’t imagine coming across a pot of egg yolks and getting excited though.

It’s best to use the yolks up as soon as possible – but then what to do with them? I suppose there’s mayonnaise or lemon curd or crème brulee. Seeing as it was a Thursday night though, I figured that carbonara might be a lot more practical, especially as I happened to have ends of crème fraiche, cream and bacon that needed using up.

Have a go – it’s a real crowd pleaser….when I made it, the boyfriend wolfed it down in about 2 minutes, and declared that “my cooking’s getting better” – quite the compliment!

Ingredients (for 2 people)
3 egg yolks
50 ml double cream
50 ml crème fraiche
Handful of grated parmesan cheese
2 courgettes
4 rashers of nice, crispy bacon
125 g quick cook spagetti
Lots of black pepper
Lots of fresh thyme

Start off by cutting the courgettes into chunks, and the bacon into strips. Toss the courgette in oil and grind lots of pepper over it all. Pop the strips of bacon and courgette into a baking tray, and put it into the oven at 200°c

When lovely smells start emanating from the oven, mix together the crème fraiche and cream (the amounts of these in the ingredient list were just guide lines – juggle the amounts of the cream or crème fraiche as you please as long as it ends up at roughly 100ml.)

Add the egg yolks, parmesan and lots of pepper to the creamy mixture, and put it in the fridge until you need it.

When the courgette has turned darker, and the bacon is nice and crispy, take it out of the oven.

Boil some water, and put the spaghetti in only when it’s bubbling furiously (otherwise it’ll stick together). Cook the spaghetti to the guidelines on the packet.

Finally, drain the spaghetti, and tip it into the baking tray which contains the courgette and bacon. The tray shouldn’t be very hot, but should still be warm. Tip over the creamy sauce, stir and serve immediately. The heat of the spaghetti, courgette and bacon will gently cook the egg sauce. Enjoy!